Caring for a person with heart defects is challenging. Congenital heart disease is a condition that affects children at birth, and this means you start caring for the patient at an early age. Ask your doctor how to keep your child as comfortable and healthy as possible.
How To Care For a CHD Patient
Ensure They Take Medicine
Ensure you understand the correct dosage to give your child. CHD is a delicate condition, and the patient relies on medicine for survival. So, make sure the patient gets congenital heart defects treatment as prescribed by the doctor.
Most children with heart defects have a weak immune system, and it’s hard to fight off most infections. A simple infection can make the patient very sick. Therefore, take extra precautions to keep the child safe. Ensure the child gets flu shots and other vaccines. Keep them warm to prevent cold, wash their hands and keep them away from crowded places.
Join Support Groups
It is helpful for a caregiver and the patient to join an organization that supports CHD patients. Through the group, you will interact with parents with similar problems. Support groups also offer counseling and emotional support. Look for nearby groups and join them.
Be Keen On Lifestyle
If your child is old enough, teach them how to care for their health. Learning a heart-healthy lifestyle and self–care skills should start at an early age. Such skills include limiting exercises, good hygiene, taking medicine, eating healthy meals, not smoking, or taking alcohol and drugs. Also, ensure the patient goes for regular checkups. Let your teenager understand which career paths can favor their condition.
Teens and children living with heart conditions may have self-esteem issues. Due to the condition, some children have retarded growth, which makes them look smaller than their age-mates. Most CHD patients have limitations to how active they can be, which affects them psychologically, not to mention the many visits they make to the hospitals. Therefore, it is important to be there for the patient whenever they require help.
Provide Balanced Meals
Healthy feeding is crucial for patients with CHD. Consult a nutritionist to learn how to feed the patient. CHD patients tire when eating, and breastfeeding is also a problem for infants. So, feed them regularly and be patient with them. For infants, you can provide formula milk.
Taking Care of Yourself
Caring for a child or adult with a lifelong illness can impact your life as a caregiver. It is not easy to accept your loved one’s condition and its impact throughout their lives. Take good care of your emotional and physical health to have more energy to care for the patient. Learn about the condition, ask questions, go for counseling, seek financial help, and be positive in life.
Caring for a patient with a chronic illness affects the whole family. It may not be easy, but you have to do your best to ensure your loved ones are okay. CHD patients require emotional and physical support. Ensure they live a healthy lifestyle, take balanced meals, and attend doctors’ appointments without fail.